#MeToo Movement Results in Unprecedented Delay of Nobel Prize for Literature

The Swedish Academy announces today if it gives the Nobel prize of literature after the scandal of sexual abuse

The organisation that decides the Nobel Prize for Literature has said it will not announce an award this year, after it was engulfed in a scandal over sexual assault allegations. The Academy - reportedly marking its first year since WWII not giving out the award - will instead push the prize to 2019, when it will dole out two.

The Nobel Foundation, which oversees all the Nobel prizes, acknowledged the crisis had tarnished the wider organization and welcomed the Swedish Academy's announcement.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said the decision was "regrettable" due to the prize's prestige, and he feared Sweden's reputation could take a knock. "Everyone understands that this person has no say in the decision about who receives the Nobel Prize in literature, but when an institution that elects a Nobel Prize laureate is in a situation like this there is obviously a risk that it affects the Nobel Prize negatively", he said. "We also assume that all members of the Academy realize that both its extensive reform efforts and its future organisational structure must be characterized by greater openness towards the outside world". He has denied the allegations through a lawyer, the New York Times reports. Frostenson, however, ended up resigning, along with the head of the academy, Professor Sara Danius. Some members also quit over Frostenson staying on board, per the Times.

"We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the Academy before the next laureate can be announced", Anders Olsson, the academy's permanent secretary, said in a statement. In the wake of the current scandal, King Carl XVI Gustaf's decision to amend the Academy statutes to allow for the assignment of new members is a welcome move. Its inception followed the death of Alfred Nobel in 1896.

The old Stock Exchange Building, home of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Thursday, May 3, 2018.


The crisis began when the cultural figure Jean-Claude Arnault was accused of sexual harassment by several women.

2018's Nobel Prize in literature ends with a cliffhanger. Another accusation is that he leaked the names of seven former Nobel winners. The academy is involved only in the literature award, so other Nobel Prizes are not affected.

The academy said Friday its active members are in agreement that there is room for change and modernization, including tightening of routines regarding conflict-of-interest issues and the management of information classified as secret.

For the first time in 75 years, the jury will not unveil a victor this year.

The paper said these included Bob Dylan in 2016 as well as French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio in 2008 and British playwright Harold Pinter in 2005. The past year the award was postponed was in 1943, CNN reports, at the height of World War II. American playwright Eugene O'Neill was awarded the 1936 prize a year later, in 1937, at the same time as that year's victor received his prize.

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